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2012 business ’dating agency’ celebrates a year of London opportunities


More than 16,000 London businesses have signed up to an ’online dating agency’ for 2012 and local government contracts - a year after the service was introduced.

CompeteFor now carries 1,700 contract opportunities. More than 45% of contracts awarded so far have gone to London companies, with many more opportunities coming online now the service is established.

In addition, London businesses have benefitted from around £3.5bn worth of work which has been awarded directly by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), with 55% of the 860 companies to have won contracts coming from the capital.

CompeteFor, which was designed by the LDA working closely with the London Business Network and London 2012, allows companies to register as potential 2012 suppliers online. CompeteFor then notifies them of contracts as they are put out to tender and they are able to apply quickly and easily.

The Mayor of London’s Economic Recovery Action Plan has extended its use across the GLA group to support London’s businesses in the current economic climate. London Development Agency (LDA) contracts alone are worth around £170m a year, while the agency is also promoting the service’s use to London boroughs.

Geoff Newton, LDA Director of Olympic Opportunity, said:

“CompeteFor has proved to be a unique tool in allowing smaller businesses to access Olympic contracts. We designed the service so that it could be expanded into other areas and the Mayor has accelerated that process in current economic climate. It is now being introduced across the GLA and this includes advertising around £170m worth of LDA contracts each year.”

“The CompeteFor model can also be used by other public and private sector organisations. We hope others will sign up to the system and in turn give London’s small and medium sized enterprises a unique platform to find out about and bid for contracts.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:

“I am hugely impressed with the success of CompeteFor in helping London businesses scoop London 2012 and GLA contracts . In the current economic climate it is vital that we get as many businesses as possible signed up, to ensure that no London firm is excluded from the tender process. That is why we are providing the scheme with a a further £1.8 million so that more businesses can register and bid for suitable work as it is contracted out across the GLA Group.”

Some 92% of London businesses now registered with CompeteFor are small or medium sized firms. Over 86% of contracts already awarded to London businesses through CompeteFor have gone to small or medium sized firms. The London Business Network has promoted the system to companies across the capital through a series of events, raising awareness and encouraging them to sign up.

ODA Chairman John Armitt said:

“We want to work with the best in business to deliver the venues, infrastructure and parklands for the London 2012 Games and legacy. Companies of all sizes from across London and the rest of the country have won work directly with the ODA. We still have significant Olympic Park work to place however the bulk of opportunities are now through our contractors and CompeteFor is already helping companies access this work.”

Mike Mulvey, Chief Executive of London Business Network, said:

“The London Business Network has ensured that the capital’s business community receives maximum benefit from the CompeteFor website and the London 2012 Games. By supporting businesses of all sizes and diversity, and working with over 350 business organisations and local councils across the capital; we have enabled businesses to access countless contract opportunities freely and easily.”

“The success of London businesses in winning contracts through CompeteFor, in addition to the 16,000 businesses already registered in the capital, is testament to the websites success in only 12 months of operation. The ‘single registration for numerous opportunities’ model will make it practical for SMEs to bid for contracts during these times of financial uncertainty.”

Case Study - Welcome Gate:

Welcome Gate specialises in electronic access and surveillance systems for commercial sites and is focused on providing leading standards of client care. The Southwark based business has grown to the extent that it now employs six people, with further new jobs expected to be created in 2009. Part of this growth results from a major contract won though CompeteFor in November 2008 to supply visitor management and vehicle pass systems, equipped with electronic photo ID, for the Olympic park development site in the run up to the 2012 Games.

Jason Choy, 33, Managing Director of Welcome Gate, said:

“The LDA and CompeteFor have enabled small businesses like ours to access Olympic opportunities that we might not otherwise have considered. This has opened up a whole new avenue of work for small businesses, which of great value as we work through the economic downturn. I would recommend CompeteFor as one way for small businesses to act to beat the credit crunch. Plus there’s the chance to be part of the Olympics.”

“Signing up was straightforward, and soon after I started receiving regular email bulletins informing me of contracts available. One seeking tenders for security technology was relevant to our business, so I decided to apply online.”

“We secured the contract to supply the visitor and vehicle passes for the Olympic park site within just a few weeks, and we are now managing that contract through until the Games in 2012. This has been a significant win for Welcome Gate and an exciting opportunity for those in our company to be involved in the Olympics project.”

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and London Organising Committee (LOCOG) expect to allocate over £6 billion of work through direct contractors and their supply chains. Around 75,000 contracts will be procured through the London 2012 supply chain and related work between now and 2012.

Any business or organisation that issues contracts can use CompeteFor and enjoy the increased competition that the system provides. The CompeteFor service also provides access to a wide range of business support services provided by Business Link in London.

Notes to editors

* The London Development Agency aims to improve the quality of life for all Londoners - working to create jobs, develop skills and promote economic growth.
* The ’London 2012 Business Network’, which can be accessed at, provides information about London 2012 related business and events and links to the ‘CompeteFor’ service, a business ‘dating agency’ which matches companies to opportunities supplying London 2012 contractors. Up to a fifth of London 2012 supply chain opportunities are expected to go through the CompeteFor system.
* How CompeteFor works.
ODA and LOCOG are advertising their direct contract opportunities online through CompeteFor, which is co-funded by Regional Development Agencies, and direct London 2012 contractors appointed will be encouraged to advertise their supply chain opportunities through the system. For example all contractors that have been awarded ODA infrastructure or venue contracts are registered as buyers on CompeteFor.
* Companies at every level of the London 2012 supply chain will be encouraged to advertise their supplier opportunities through CompeteFor.
* After registering basic company information any interested business can view the opportunities advertised. Companies can then complete a business profile, which involves answering a series of simple questions, to be able to compete for opportunities.
* A company’s business profile is automatically tested against a small number of minimum standards in areas such as health and safety. If these requirements are not met the company is automatically referred to tailored business support to help improve their performance. This service is provided by Business Link in England and the support services in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
* Once a company’s profile is successfully published on CompeteFor they are automatically matched to opportunities which suit their business and invited, by email, to apply for them by filling out a short, tailored application form. The buyer advertising the contract then selects a shortlist of companies and invites them to formally tender through the buyer’s own procurement system.
* Details of the winning bidder(s) are published on CompeteFor and unsuccessful bidders receive feedback from the buyer. Throughout the process local business support agencies are on hand to help companies maximise their chances of success.


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